A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

2017 Funders Institute


This year's Funders Institute being held in conjunction with the National Conference on Ending Homelessness in Washington, D.C will follow a new format. We are excited to announce that in addition to our 1-day Institute, this year's event will continue through the National Conference on Ending Homelessness. In addition to the valuable content planned for conference participants, each day will feature workshop sessions planned by Funders Together with content and discussion exclusively for private funders*.    

*Please note this event is exclusively for private funders including foundations and United Ways. 

Thank you to the Annie E. Casey Foundation for its generous support of the 2017 Funders Institute!


Registration is now closed. If you are interested in registering for the Monday-only portion of the Funders Institute, please contact Jennifer Olney.


Monday, July 17, 2017

9:00am - 9:30am   Breakfast*

9:30am - 12:00pm   Racial Equity and Homelessness* 

Room: Balcony A

This session will continue Funders Together's ongoing conversation addressing racial inequity and share learnings from the Center for Social Innovation's work across the country. 


Glenn_Harris__Head-shot_sized.jpgGlenn Harris is the President of the new Race Forward and Publisher of Colorlines. The new Race Forward is the union of two leading racial justice non-profit organizations: Race Forward and Center for Social Inclusion (CSI), where Glenn served as President starting in 2014. The new Race Forward will build on the work of both organizations to advance racial justice. Glenn brings to the new Race Forward over 25 years of experience working on issues of race and social justice—working with community groups, foundations, and government agencies dedicated to building a more just and democratic society. Prior to the new Race Forward and CSI, Glenn worked as the Manager of the City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), whose mission is to end institutionalized racism in City government and promote multiculturalism and full participation by all residents. Glenn has supported the start of similar initiatives in jurisdictions across the country, and helped to found the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE).

 Taking Conversations to Action- Discussion:

  • Amanda Andere, Funders Together to End Homelessness
  • Glenn Harris, Race Forward
  • George Jones, Bread for the City
  • Jocelyn Sargent, Hyams Foundation

Center for Social Innovation SPARC Initiative Update:

  • Marc Dones, Center for Social Innovation
  • Jeff Olivet, Center for Social Innovation

Noon - 1:00pm    Lunch*

1:00pm - 1:45pm   National Conference on Ending Homelessness Opening Plenary, Nan Roman

2:00pm - 3:30pm   Stop Talking About It, Be About It: Addressing Racial Inequity**

Room: Virginia A & B

Join providers, local leaders, and funders working on racial equity in their communities as part of the Center for Social Innovation's SPARC initiative


  • Tess Colby, Pierce County
  • Marc Dones, Center for Social Innovation
  • Kollin Min, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Tomiquia Moss, Hamilton Families
  • Michael Parkhurst, Meyer Memorial Trust

Racial Equity Resources
SPARC website
Why We Must Address Racial Inequity In Our Efforts To End Homelessness

3:45pm - 4:15pm   Reflection and Sharing*

Room: Balcony A

4:30pm - 5:30pm   Funders Institute Reception in the Wardman Tower Lobby


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

9:15am - 10:45am   What's the Political Environment? What Can We Do?*

Room: Balcony A

What's happening with local and federal policy that will impact our work to end homelessness? How can philanthropy be engaged? Hear from experts in the field and funder colleagues in this funder only workshop. 


  • Regina Reed, National Health Care for the Homeless Council
  • Douglas Rice, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Nan Roman, National Alliance to End Homelessness
  • Melissa Young, Heartland Alliance

Speakers will be joined by funders who will highlight their work.

Funders Together Policy Priorities for the New Administration
Funders Together Webinar Recording: Advocacy 101 for Funders
Why The Federal Budget Matters and What To Do About It
FY 2018 Targeted Homelessness Assistance Budget Chart 
The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Medicaid Expansion in Pennsylvania
Impact to Pennsylvania of Repealing the Affordable Care Act
Alliance for Justice Lobbying Defined for Private Foundations
Alliance for Justice Philanthropy Advocacy Handbook
Alliance for Justice Sample General Support Grant Agreement Language
Alliance for Justice Sample Specific Project Grant Agreement Language

1:15pm - 2:00pm   Local Success: A Proposition for Housing**

Room: Roosevelt 3

How did the City of Los Angeles get residents to vote “yes” on Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion bond measure that will create new housing for neighbors experiencing homelessness? Join speakers to learn how the community came together and the role funders played in its success. 


  • Chris Ko, United Way of Greater Los Angeles
  • Ann Sewill, California Community Foundation

Advancing the Community Through Advocacy: Los Angeles & Proposition HHH

2:15pm - 3:45pm   Nothing to Feud About: Employment is Critical for Ending Homelessness** 

Room: Washington 2

Join us for a fun and interactive “Family Feud” style session where you and your colleagues will team up and help us debunk myths around employment and homelessness, identify funding streams that can be leveraged in your community to support these efforts, and learn what philanthropy and others are doing across the country to develop and maintain effective collaborations between workforce and homeless service systems for the benefit of homeless jobseekers.


  • Rebecca Allen, Melville Charitable Trust
  • Melissa Young, Heartland Alliance

Secure Jobs: More Than A Program, It’s About Systems Change
Foundations for Employment and Housing

4:00pm - 5:30pm   Unusual Suspects: Funders Driving Intersectional Partnerships**

Room: Roosevelt 3

How do funders address homelessness and its intersection with other systems? How can grantees work with funders in their community and engage unusual partners from these intersecting fields?


  • Diana Ortiz, Women's Community Justice Project
  • Martha Toll, Butler Family Fund
  • Rita Zimmer, Housing Plus Solutions
  • Bill Major, The Zarrow Family Foundation 
  • Greg Shinn, Mental Health Association Oklahoma

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

9:15am - 10:45am   Celebrating Risk: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly*

Room: Hoover

Join us for an unusual party. This session will be a chance for funders to come together and celebrate failure, success, and overall lessons learned from their work to prevent and end homelessness. This workshop is for funders only.


  • Catherine Burnett, Phillips Foundation
  • Janice Elliott, Melville Charitable Trust
  • Bobbie Ibarra, Miami Homes For All
  • Andrea Iloulian, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • Michael McConnell, Funders Together San Diego


*Funder Only Sessions

**These sessions will be part of the NAEH conference but will be planned by Funders Together.


Restaurants near the conference hotel.

July 17, 2017 at 8:30am - July 19, 2017
Washington Marriot Wardman Park, Washington, D.C.
Jennifer Olney ·

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We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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